Kim Hyo-jung (born December 11, 1990), better known by her stage name Hyolyn, is a South Korean singer now under the management of her own self-started production company Bridʒ. She is best known as a former member and leader of the South Korean girl group Sistar and their sub-unit Sistar19.
Kim Hyo-jung was born on December 11, 1990, in Incheon, South Korea. Her father is a retired Marine Corps officer. Born prematurely, Hyolyn’s infancy was complicated by a serious form of biliary atresia, which led to several surgeries, intussuseption and the eventual loss of her gall bladder. She explained on the TV program Strong Heart in 2011 that she grew up a sickly child but has since regained most of her health. Hyolyn has one younger sister, Kim Hye-jung.
Hyolyn stated that she has loved singing and dancing since childhood and that no one was around to help her so she began picking up auditions on her own. She auditioned for JYP Entertainment two times before being accepted after placing first in the audition. She was set to debut in a project group with Secret’s Jieun, EXID’s Hani, and Bestie’s Uji. However, plans for their debut were cancelled. Hyolyn then left JYP and joined Starship Entertainment, auditioning with a cover of Christina Aguilera’s “Hurt”. Starship began forming a new girl group in 2010, with Hyolyn as the leader. The group were praised for their fresh faces and vocal abilities.
On June 3, 2010, Hyolyn made her debut as a member of Sistar on KBS’ Music Bank with their debut single, “Push Push”.
In early 2011, Hyolyn and group member Bora formed the sub-group Sistar19. They released the successful single “Ma Boy” in 2011 and on October 17, 2011, Hyolyn released the single “Ma Boy 2”, featuring Electroboyz. Their first EP Gone Not Around Any Longer, with a title track of the same name, was released in January 2013 and was met with success on several music charts.
In 2012, Hyolyn starred in the KBS drama Dream High Season 2 as Nana, a famous idol from the fictional girl group Hershe. She teamed up with Ailee and T-ara’s Jiyeon for the song “Superstar” for the soundtrack.
In August 2013, Hyolyn sang an OST for the SBS’ drama, Master’s Sun, titled “You Make Me Go Crazy”. On November 22, she shared the stage with Stevie Wonder for a special performance of “I Just Called to Say I Love You” at the 2013 Mnet Asian Music Awards, one of South Korea’s biggest music award shows. Hyolyn made her solo debut on November 26 with the album Love & Hate. The album contained double title tracks, “Lonely” and “One Way Love”, featuring Korean rappers Mad Clown, Block B’s Zico, Dok2, and Geeks’ Lil Boi, and some tracks produced by Brave Brothers and Kim Do-hoon. Both of the album’s singles saw success, with “One Way Love” winning first place on several music shows, placing number one on Gaon’s Weekly Digital Chart and number one on Billboard’s K-Pop Hot 100, with “Lonely” falling at number four and number three respectively. On December 31, the music video for the Korean version of “Let It Go” for Disney’s animated film Frozen, sung by Hyolyn, was revealed.
In January 2014, Hyolyn released an OST for the drama My Love from the Star titled “Goodbye”. On March 28, Starship Entertainment announced on their Twitter account that Hyolyn would feature in Mad Clown’s comeback track, “Without You”, released on April 3. She also participated in rapper MC Mong’s comeback to the Korean scene after five years with the album Miss Me or Diss Me, released on November 3. On November 20, she collaborated with singer-songwriter and fellow label mate, Jooyoung, on a track titled “Erase (지워)” featuring Iron, which peaked at number nine on the Gaon Weekly chart. Hyolyn was the first idol group singer to participate in the Chuseok special of the music variety show I Am a Singer that aired on September 9. She ranked second overall.
On January 13, it was revealed that Hyolyn was to join MBC’s I Am a Singer Season 3 as the first idol singer to feature on the show. She was the first contestant eliminated from the show but still impressed viewers with her song choices, especially her emotional rendition of Lee Sun-hee’s classic ballad “Fate”, which brought the audience to tears. On April 2, Hyolyn teamed up with her bandmate Soyou to cover K.Will’s song “Growing” as Starship Entertainment’s cover project. On August 17, it was revealed that Hyolyn was to join Unpretty Rapstar Season 2. Hyolyn released her Unpretty Rapstar’s semi finals track “My Love” featuring Basick on November 6, 2015. She finished the show in third place. On December 14, Hyolyn, Jooyoung, and Bumkey collaborated with producing team Da Internz on the song “Love Line”. On December 16, she released an OST for the movie The Little Prince called “Turnaround”, along with an accompanying music video.
On March 6, 2016, Hyolyn participated in the singing competition King of Mask Singer where she placed second. On June 17, Hyolyn was a contestant on Duet Song Festival where she and her partner, Lee Na-hyun, placed second with “Sofa” by R&B singer Crush. On July 15th Hyolyn released an OST for KBS2′ Uncontrollably Fond titled “I Miss You”.
On October 21, she featured in a song with Far East Movement and Gill Chang titled, “Umbrella”. After earlier reports that Hyolyn was to release her first EP, an official schedule revealed the release date to be November 8, and also showed features from prominent rapper Dok2 and singer Jay Park for the tracks “Love Like This” and “One Step” respectively. The EP, titled It’s Me, was released, with the title track “Paradise” and the accompanying music video.
Hyolyn participated in the OST for KBS2′ Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth with “Our Tears (서로의 눈물이 되어)”, released on January 9 2017.
On April 14, 2017, Starship Entertainment released a collaboration track featuring Hyolyn and rapper Changmo, titled “Blue Moon”, a medium tempo electronic dance track produced by Groovy Room. The track saw success in streaming, digital downloads and, upon its release, hit the upper ranks of several real-time charts including Bugs, Genie and Soribada. It ranked number three on the Gaon Weekly Digital Chart and received nominations for “Best Collaboration” at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards and “Digital Music” division at the 32nd Annual Golden Disk Awards.
After seven years as a group, it was announced on May 23, 2017, that Sistar was to disband. Their final track, titled “Lonely”, was released on May 31, rising to the top of the charts and hitting number on the Gaon Weekly Digital Chart. It was nominated for “Best R&B/Soul Song” at the 2017 Melon Music Awards.
The Groovy Room produced track “Fruity” featuring Hyolyn and Kisum was released on June 29. On August 25, Hyolyn’s OST for tvN’s Live Up To Your Name, titled “Always”, was released.
On September 9, 2017, Hyolyn uploaded a handwritten letter to her personal Instagram account, stating that she had decided to leave Starship Entertainment and would start anew without an agency for the time being.
In late 2017, Hyolyn featured in two episodes of the music broadcast Fantastic Duo 2, competing against Jinusean and collaborating alongside popular group GOT7 with a rendition of her hit track, “Blue Moon”.
Not long after Hyolyn announced her departure from Starship Entertainment, she founded her own music label, Bridʒ. She explained in an official statement on November 13, 2017, that the company name, pronounced “Bridge”, was meant to symbolize the bridge that she hopes to build between the public and all forms of music production, just how the bridge in a song connects to the song’s climax.
During the following months, Hyolyn lent her voice to two separate OST tracks; “태업 시계 (Wind Up Watch)” for the drama Black Knight: The Man Who Guards Me, released on December 20, 2017, and “스쳐간 꿈처럼 (Dreamy Love)” for the drama Money Flower, released on January 13, 2018. It was during this time that Hyolyn also began preparing for her return to the music industry, which she officially announced on January 22, 2018. Toward the end of the month, she announced her plan to unveil a three-part project consisting of three separate singles, starting with her medium tempo, acoustic-pop single “내일할래 (To Do List)”, released on February 6, 2018.
On February 28, Hyolyn featured on GOT7’s pre-release track “너 하나만 (One and Only You)”, a single from their later released studio album, Eyes On You.
On April 23, 2018, she revealed the second single from her three-part project, titled “달리 (Dally)”, featuring Korean rapper and producer, Gray. The song is an upbeat track, styled with R&B-pop vocals and hip hop percussion. Both Hyolyn and Gray participated in lyrics and production. For the song’s accompanying music video, Hyolyn, along with four other dancers, performed choreography by American choreographer Aliya Janell. The music video garnered over one million views in less than 24 hours of release.